Cattle rustlers on horseback have stolen around 200 beasts being prepared for sale in outback Queensland.
The Droughtmaster cows, which were branded and earmarked, were last seen on Friday at their home property near Carnarvon Highway South of Surat.
Police say tracks suggest the offenders were on horses when they rounded up the cattle, then moved them by foot to the nearby stock route.
Police are unaware of the motive of the thieves.
In a win for Queensland farmers and abattoirs, animal protesters may now face on the spot fines of more than $600 for trespassing on their land.
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